After an initial 255 persons with disabilities (PWDs) and from the marginalized community were trained by Maybank Foundation for its pilot R.I.S.E. (Reach Independence and Sustainable Entrepreneurship) Program in the Philippines, 1,000 more are being targeted to benefit as the program goes nationwide, covering Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, in addition to Metro Manila.
Maybank Foundation has extended its R.I.S.E. Program in the Philippines to impact beneficiaries nationwide, including Visayas, where it targets to build capabilities of 250 PWDs through a structured training and mentoring program in key cities. This follows the huge success of the pilot program conducted last year which saw 255 participants successfully go through a similar training.
First stop for the R.I.S.E. Visayas trainings was Iloilo City, which saw around 50 selected PWDs coming together for a three-day entrepreneurship and financial training session. This will be followed by a six month period where the participants will be trained, coached and mentored to develop their entrepreneurial skills in order to help them achieve higher income levels and improve their overall standard of living.
The program which was launched at the Diamond Jubilee Hall in Iloilo City saw Maybank Foundation CEO, Shahril Jimin, and Iloilo City mayor Jose Espinosa III welcoming the participants who arrived for the program.
“When R.I.S.E. was first launched in Malaysia in 2014, we saw 280 participants succeed in their business in which each participant achieved a remarkable 411.7 percent average income increase,” said Shahril. “In Phase 2, 1,866 participants who were trained across Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines achieved an average income increase of 356.4 percent, 351.8 percent, and 565 percent in those counties respectively.”
He further added, “Given the huge success of the program, we are now in Phase 3 of the program, which will now reach out to 4,000 people in four countries – namely Malaysia with 800 participants, Indonesia with 2,000, Philippines with 1,000, and Laos with 200 as a pilot, of which 70 percent will comprise PWDs.
Financial inclusion is still at a relatively low level in ASEAN countries, especially among the disabled and marginalized. Taking on this advocacy is Maybank’s way of driving the bigger regional agenda of championing financial inclusion across Southeast Asian nations.
The R.I.S.E. program seeks to implement economic empowerment and financial inclusion among differently-abled communities. It aims to have at least 40 percent of its participants gain an income increase of 100 percent within three months. Since going full-blast nationwide in the Philippines beginning November 2017, ten batches of trainings have been completed, impacting the lives and families of 454 participants in 10 different locations in Metro Manila and Mindanao (Davao). Significantly, the average income increase for the top 40 percent is at 305.8 percent.
Shahril reiterated, “Our commitment to supporting and empowering the disadvantaged, especially PWDs, is very much in line with Maybank’s mission of humanizing financial services. We believe that in helping all segments of the community to gain financial independence, we can contribute to the overall prosperity and sustainability of society.”
Tacloban is the next stop for R.I.S.E. in the Visayas, with its training schedule confirmed for Aug. 15 to 17 at the Tacloban Training Center. On Sept. 7 to 9, the second training in Davao City will be held at the Sunny Point Hotel.
Maybank has been operating in the Philippines for 21 years since 1997. It presently has 74 branches nationwide, of which 30 are in Metro Manila and the rest are strategically located in key cities of Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. Maybank has two branches in Iloilo City./WDJ